Though made for the porn circuit, THE EIGHTEEN CARAT VIRGIN was good enough to escape into wider release - I saw it at a Cleveland drive-in later in the '70s. More recently it's been released as a DVD-R by Something Weird.
The filmmaker Emilio Portici also made crummy 1-day XXX wonders, but with VIRGIN he tried a whole lot harder, with good results.
Instrumental to the film's success is star Nicole Vadim (her agent must have dug French imports), a talented lookalike for Ally Sheedy. She plays Annie, a girl from Kentucky who's raped by her step-dad after he catches her humping with a neighbor boy. Despite this set-up, she's still a virgin (in the twisted logic of porn).
Story is told largely in flashback from the vantage point of her success a year later, from the back seat of her Rolls Royce.
Stealing stepdad's money and car, she headed for Miami Beach, getting as far as Tahiti Beach. Now broke, she gets picked up on the beach by redhead Barbara, who gives her a place to say. Soon Barb and her buck-toothed roommate Carol have begun showing Annie the ropes, to join them in their lucrative call-girl profession.
Annie's virginal status serves her in good stead, as Barbara's friend General Sanchez Fernandez is mighty pleased to find such a girl, and after shtupping Annie, takes her under his wing. She become wealthy and within six months dominates the other two gals in the business, callously rewriting their deal to favor her end of the take. Both the direction and Vadim's acting develop her transition from naive country girl to cynical dealmaker.
Once the story has caught up with the present time, Portici throws in a surprise (and sudden) twist, with Miami-based Annie getting her comeuppance just like Al Capone did -arrested for income tax evasion! Film has many distinctive elements that set it apart from the run-of-the mill soft porn of its era. There's an original guitar-based music score that spurs on the action, and a guitar-playing balladeer who appears frequently on screen to sing new verses of the title song, ending appropriately with "She's back on the farm, the prison farm".
Frequent full-frontal nudity by the cast, including tight closeups of Vadim's vagina, give the fans what they paid for, though Portici clearly keeps it softcore. She's quite cute, with fabulous nipple cones, while the other two femme leads are more of the fluffer (hot, not pretty) variety. All three plus co-star Marc Brock also teamed in a lost movie ROOM 11, produced by Bunny Yeager. Another clever touch is casting the general to very closely resemble the actor who played Annie's stepdad.
For most of its running time VIRGIN closely resembles a real movie. You can actually forget that it's just porn, something that's virtually impossible to do with most X films of its era.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?